Communication is Key

Ron Helle - Volunteer and Disciple Maker | Real Life Ministries Texas, Tomball, TX

The radio kept breaking up – “this is not good” I’m thinking to myself. We had been discovered by a lone NVA (North Vietnamese Army) soldier, who had stepped off the trail to relieve himself. We were well camouflaged, but a brief radio crackle alerted him to our presence. This wasn’t a Rambo movie – the only way to take him out was to shoot him, and that alerted the NVA to our position. Based on the coordinates of a previous fire mission, I called for a “fire for effect” to suppress their attempt to engage us at close quarters. There were only seven of us and the odds weren’t in our favor. Effecting a tactical withdrawal, the disruption of the radio signal delayed the fire mission and I’m making changes on the run.

I was embedded with a Reconnaissance team close to the Laotian border monitoring the Ho Chi Minh Trail, used by the NVA to move troops and supplies into South Vietnam. The trail had no respect for borders as it crisscrossed the borders of Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam. The accuracy of the maps was less than satisfactory, especially when you are calling in the big guns! You want to know where those bad boys are going to land, and the bigger the round, the further away you want to be. We’d been there several days, engaging numerous targets, including calling a B-52 strike on an NVA staging point. It wouldn’t take long for them to figure out someone was watching. Now they had a good idea where we were.

The team leader was having the same problem that I was, with his radio breaking up and having to repeat the transmissions. We were moving toward a predetermined extraction point for a helicopter pickup. After finally getting some rounds on target I was able to walk it behind us as a screen to slow down any pursuing NVA. They, in turn, were firing mortars to slow us down, but we were able to stay well ahead of the explosions. The extraction helicopter had to do some very precarious, nap of the earth flying to stay under the trajectory of the artillery fire. You won’t find that ride at the Magic Kingdom!

Good communication is essential in offensive combat. Without it you will find yourself without the support to accomplish your mission.

A healthy disciple maker understands prayer is how we communicate with our Heavenly Father.

Just as my radio traffic was two-way, prayer is also two-way. We talk to God, and we wait to hear back from him. It would have been foolish for me to not listen to the people on the other end of the net. Likewise, it’s foolish for us to not wait and listen to God when we pray to him.

The Apostle John gives us this insight into prayer. “And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him” (I John 5:14-15 ESV).

First, if we ask anything according to God’s will, he hears us, and we have what we asked. His timing may not always match our preferred timing. God’s will is clarified in Scripture, so we should search out Scripture to be certain that our requests are aligned with his will.

Second, we ask in Jesus’ name. “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14 ESV). I received fire support because I had the delegated authority to request it. As followers of Jesus, we have delegated authority to ask God for what we need.

Third, we must ask with the right motive. “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:2b-3 ESV). Fourth, we must ask in faith, without doubting. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting” (James 1:5-6a ESV). Finally, we can trust the Holy Spirit to help us. “Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning’s too deep for words” (Romans 8:26 ESV).

Let’s do what healthy disciple makers do, communicate with our heavenly Father!


Ron Helle
Volunteer and Disciple Maker
Real Life Ministries Texas
Tomball, TX